During these uncertain times it is no surprise that fraudulent insurance claims are on the rise. Criminals are staging accidents to collect on innocent victims insurance policies, which is costing policyholders and insurers millions of dollars every year. That is why it is important that you stay informed and know exactly what to do at the scene of an auto accident.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) noted that “fraudulent automobile accidents occur more frequently in urban areas, where there is a greater number of vehicles, and in wealthier communities because drivers there are perceived to have better insurance coverage.”
Some examples of staged accident scenarios are as follows:
- Side Swipe: Typically occurs at busy intersections with dual left turn lanes. The criminal positions his vehicle in the outer lane. As soon as the victim’s vehicle drifts into the outer turn lane, the criminal side-swipes it.
- Drive Down: In this scheme, the victim merges his vehicle into traffic after being motioned to do so by the criminal. As the innocent driver begins to merge, the criminal speeds up and causes a collision. When questioned, the criminal denies motioning the victim to merge into traffic or gives excuses.
For additional information on typical staged accidents and warning signs that fraud is being perpetrated please visit www.iii.org.
It is recommended that you take notes at the scene of an accident. Generally, the back of your insurance ID card should give you some tips of what information to get, but if it does not, note the following:
- The names and addresses of all drivers and passengers involved
- License plate numbers
- Make and model of each vehicle
- Drivers license numbers
- Insurance Information
- Names and addresses of witnesses
- Names and badge numbers of police or emergency personnel
Be sure that your entire family knows what to do in the event of an accident to protect yourself and your assets.